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Family Cerastidae

Edouardia carinifera Melvill & Ponsonby,1897 Shell:Conical,whorls flattened,periphery strongly keeled.Colouring dark brown or yellowish-brown.Length up to 19 mm. Habitat:Coastal forests. Distribution:Eastern South-Africa;southern Cape to Zululand,scattered localities.

Edouardia spadicea Pfeiffer,1846 Shell:Conical,umbilicus wide,bodywhorl rounded.Colour reddish- to dark brown. Length up to 25 mm. Habitat:Dune,coastal lowland and scarp forest. Distribution:Eastern South-Africa;Port Elizabeth to Transkei to Zululand,inland towards Oribi Gorge and Hluhluwe.

Edouardia natalensis Pfeiffer,1846 Shell:Shell more narrow and fragile than E.spadicea,umbilicus narrow.Colouring pale brownish-yellow to reddish-brown.Paler specimens usually have a dark spiral band. Length up to 20 mm. Habitat:A variety of forests;dune,coastal lowland and scarp. Distribution:Eastern South-Africa;Port Elizabeth through Transkei along the KwaZulu-Natal coast to Kosi Bay, inland to Mount Frere,Pietermaritzburg,Ithala Game Reserve and Swaziland.

Edouardia arenicola Benson,1856 Shell:Similar to E.natalensis but with more angular whorls,thicker and glossier. Colouring brownish-white to light brown with a dark brown band along the periphery. Sometimes streaked.Apex very often dark brown. Length up to 24 mm. Habitat:Dune,coastal lowland,Podocarpus forest and moist woodland. Distribution:Eastern South-Africa;Mossel Bay east to the Transkei and KwaZulu-Natal coast, as far north as the Mkhuze area,inland to the Umtata area,Pietermaritzburg and Kranskop.

Edouardia meridionalis Pfeiffer,1848 Shell:Smaller and narrower than the species mentioned above.Colouring white to pale brown, with a reddish brown spiral band.Length up to 15 mm. Habitat:Coastal bush,or dune,coastal lowland,sand forest,woodland,in grass and scrubs in sanddunes. Distribution:Eastern southern Africa;Two,widely separated populations exist: eastern Cape,from the Port Elizabeth area to East London and the other one from the Mtunzini area north into Mozambique and inland to Swaziland.

Edouardia dimera Melvill & Ponsonby,1901 Shell:Colouring above the periphery reddish-brown,the area below pale. Length up to 13 mm. Habitat:Dune,coastal lowland and Podocarpus forest Distribution:Eastern South-Africa;Tsitsikamma forest through Transkei to Zululand and Limpopo Province,inland to Somerset East,Ngele forest,Bulwer,Kranskop and Ngome Forest.

Edouardia maritzburgensis Melvill & Ponsonby,1893 Shell:Relatively narrow but variable in spire width and height.Whorls rounded, surface glossy,umbilicus narrow.Colouring pale brown. Length up to 20 mm. Habitat:Thicket and savanna. Distribution:Eastern South-Africa;Pietermaritzburg to Ladysmith.

Edouardia sordidula Martens,1897 Shell:Narrow conical,spire high,aperture relatively small.Colour light brown. Length up to 13.5 mm. Habitat:Open woodland,thickets,savanna in trees. Distribution:East-Africa.

Rhachistia sticta Martens,1859 Shell:Narrow conical.Colouring white to pale yellow,with a variety of colour patterns,but often with dark spots and a purple-brownish line along the periphery.Sometimes with lines above and under this.First few whorls dark purplish-brown.(apex) Length up to 24 mm. Habitat:Coastal lowland,sand forest,open woodland,Acacia savanna. Distribution:East-Africa.

Rhachistia chiradzuluensis Smith,1899 Shell:Similar to R.sticta but shorter and broader.Colouring pale yellowish with dark brown spiral lines:two lines on the bodywhorl sometimes with a third one above it.Apex usually not dark.Length up to 17 mm. Habitat:Forest and savanna. Distribution:Kenya southwards to the Pongola River area,Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province.

Rachistia dubiosa Sturany,1898 Shell:Similar to the above species but with two rows of spots above the lines on the body whorl.Length up to 17 mm. Habitat:Coastal woodland.A tree snail. Distribution:East-Africa. This species,R.braunsii Martens,1869 and R.histrio Pfeiffer,1845 are probably all the same species.

Rachis jejuna Melvill & Ponsonby,1893 Shell:Relatively narrow.Colouring buff-whitish with pale brown axial streaks and little grey spots. Length up to 19 mm. Habitat:Forest,woodland and Acacia savanna. Distribution:Eastern South-Africa;Zululand into southern Mozambique.

Source:Field guide to the land snails and slugs of eastern South-Africa by Herbert and Kilburn-Natal Museum,2004. Home